My day is usually pretty predictable. I get up. I get Adelade ready for school: serving some sort of breakfast (Once this year, ice cream. Desperate times.), packing lunch, laying out clothes, searching for shoes, fixing hair, rushing to find her coat which is never where I think it will be, removing shoes to adjust that line on the toe of her socks, kissing her face, holding her close, sending her out the door. By this time, Sawyer is up. Shortly after that, Emerald is up. And I feed people, I clean up after people, I wipe noses and rear ends and listen to endless chatter. I laugh a lot. I call my mother. I think about doing laundry. Some days I actually wash some laundry. I do everything with Emerald attached to my leg. I pick up the same 10 toys 40 times. After school, there’s homework. Everyone expects dinner. Baths. Bedtime rituals. Staying up too late just because I can.
Life can get really monotonous. There are times when I wonder what in the world I’m accomplishing when my house never seems to be all that sparkling clean. And my laundry is always an issue. And the kids aren’t reading by age three or developing any amazing talents. And I’m not reading important books or writing the next great novel or becoming a decorating guru or an amazing cook.
There are days when I don’t feel like being the mother.
But then I read this:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
I started thinking about how much more important my day to day tasks seem when I see them as a way to serve Christ. I am always wanting to know how I can be a better Christian, examining ways that I need to change my actions and my thinking. And then it dawned on me that maybe the very first place to start is just to be a better servant to my family. And the Bible tells me that when I do this amazingly privileged job with my whole heart, I am not only serving my sweet kids and my incredible husband, I am serving Christ.
So, this seems like an easy answer to the question “How can Melissa be a better Christian?” But, it’s actually hard. I think it might have been easier for me to conclude that I need to give more to missions or help senior adults in our church or teach preschool. Because in a weird way it is sometimes harder to serve the people you’re closest to than anyone else. It’s a tough thing to realize that I am obeying God when I just do a better job at cleaning toilets and keeping clean underwear in drawers and reading plenty of stories to my kids. No grand mission. And yet, such a grand mission.
I love being a wife and mother. I want to do all of the little things that are important to this job to the glory of God. I want to serve God through my Lysoling and cat feeding and clothes folding and lunch making. I can honor and glorify Him while I change diapers. His word tells me so. And, I know He is calling me to serve Him right here in this laundry-piled mission field. I don’t want to fail Him.